TitleUnmet hearing health care needs: the Beaver Dam offspring study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsNash, SD, Cruickshanks, KJ, Huang, G-H, Klein, BEK, Klein, R, F. Nieto, J, Tweed, TS
JournalAm J Public Health
Date Published04/2013
KeywordsAdult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cohort Studies, Correction of Hearing Impairment, Female, Health Services, Hearing Aids, Hearing Disorders, Hearing Tests, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Needs Assessment, Noise, Occupational, Prevalence, Sex Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Wisconsin, Young Adult

OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the use of hearing health care services (hearing testing and hearing aids) by adults aged 21 to 84 years.

METHODS: Hearing was tested and medical and hearing health histories were obtained as part of the Beaver Dam Offspring Study between 2005 and 2008 (n = 3285, mean age = 49 years).

RESULTS: Of the cohort, 34% (55% of participants aged ≥ 70 years) had a hearing test in the past 5 years. In multivariate modeling, older age, male gender, occupation, occupational noise, and having talked with a doctor about a hearing problem were independently associated with having had a hearing test in the past 5 years. Hearing aid use was low among participants with a moderate to severe hearing impairment (22.5%) and among participants with a hearing handicap (8.6%), as determined by the Hearing Handicap Inventory.

CONCLUSIONS: Data support the need for improvement in hearing health care. Hearing aids' effectiveness is limited if patients do not acquire them or do not use them once acquired. Future research should focus on developing effective strategies for moving patients from diagnosis to treatment.

Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
PubMed ID23597370
PubMed Central IDPMC3670658
Grant ListR01 AG021917 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01AG021917 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States